There’s a compound out there with a name almost guaranteed to make you giggle. But what it does is no laughing matter.
Last year I shared the news of spermidine’s brain benefits with you. (More on that in a moment.) And now we’ve learned that this compound could also help reverse one of the worst effects of aging, right where it matters most: inside the cells of your heart.
Every cell in your body has a tiny “battery” of sorts that’s needed for energy. As you get older, that battery can start to go flat.
And when that happens in your heart cells, it can lead to declining function and a higher risk of serious health problems, including heart disease.
But if the new report is any indication, spermidine could help restore energy to those cells and protect your heart at the same time.
Charge up the heart’s batteries
The name spermidine wasn’t arrived at by accident by some clueless scientist. The compound was indeed first identified in semen leading to that awkward name.
Fortunately, spermidine is also found in far more conventional places, including some of the essential elements of a fancy appetizer plate: mushrooms, aged cheese (like cheddar), and the wheat germ in some crackers.
But spermidine is good for more than giggles and adding pizzazz to your dinner party. This compound has shown incredible promise against some of the most common problems associated with aging.
Last year, I shared how the nutrient was able to help protect the brain and improve memory. Plus, spermidine could potentially increase lifespan. If you missed that issue, catch up here.
Now, the new study focuses on spermidine’s potential role in a key part of your cardiac health. Specifically, the mitochondria or those tiny cellular batteries I mentioned earlier.
Researchers gave aging mice a regular lab diet, except some had spermidine added to the water, and some didn’t. Over time, the mice given the spermidine had significantly MORE of those essential mitochondria in their heart’s left ventricle.
The mitochondria had better organization, too. Meaning there wasn’t just more of them. They could function more efficiently, as well.
It wasn’t a complete de-aging of the mitochondria. But it certainly helped reverse some of the damaging effects of time on those crucial power sources.
Bump up spermidine levels with these foods
Of course, experiments on mice don’t always pan out in real-world tests in humans. So if this were some strange and unusual compound only available as a supplement, I’d say hold off until we see more research.
But it’s not. Spermidine is naturally found in the body. And bumping up the spermidine in your diet is easy as pie.
I’m a big fan of mushrooms myself and have them in my salads, on my pizzas, and even on their own as a side dish. In fact, I eat them sautéed in olive oil for breakfast several times a week. And, of course, I love cheese too.
Whole grains, legumes, and corn are good sources, too, if you aren’t on a super-low-carb diet. And fermented soy products such as tempeh and miso are rich in spermidine, as well.
So when you eat more spermidine-rich foods, you get plenty of potential benefits for little to no effort. And that’s especially true when you consider that mitochondria are emerging as a hot topic in anti-aging research.
There are spermidine supplements available as well. But they’re generally quite pricey. You might want to wait until we have more research on how they perform in people.
For more on the connection between mitochondria and heart health… as well as another way to support these cell powerhouses… check out my earlier report here.
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